Green Facades – How they Matter for Working Environments, Public Spaces and the Livability of a City

Smetschka, Barbara and Haas, Willi and Stangl, Rosemarie (2022) Green Facades – How they Matter for Working Environments, Public Spaces and the Livability of a City. Mobility, Knowledge and Innovation Hubs in Urban and Regional Development. Proceedings of REAL CORP 2022, 27th International Conference on Urban Development, Regional Planning and Information Society. pp. 417-425. ISSN 2521-3938

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Sustainable urban development is the focus of many research initiatives, especially due to increasing urbanization and climate change. Buildings and their renovation are central to the European "Green Deal". In the new Austrian climate and energy program, the topic of buildings comes first with a target renovation rate of 3%. Current climate change adaptation strategies call for an increase in greening of existing buildings and on facades. Public spaces are shaped by the surrounding buildings. The facades and roofs of these buildings can have a high potential to mitigate urban heat island effects. Social change and innovation in working cultures result in reshaping working environments and the need for public space. Large-scale glass buildings are widely considered architectural highlights, but pose problematic challenges to urban spaces. Glass has a significant impact on the microclimate inside the building and in the immediate outdoor environment: a concentration of radiant energy and high indoor temperatures put a strain on the energy balance and the well-being of the occupants. The retrofit greening of glass facades is a gap in building expertise and there is a lack of standard applications for the retrofit shading and insulation of glass buildings to obtain associated microclimatic benefits. The project GLASGrün aims to develop, implement, test and monitor modular vertical greening standards for active external shading by deciduous plants on commercial buildings with large glazed facades. Transferable modular-based designs are to be developed. Additionally, sociological surveys on acceptance and perception will be implemented. GLASGrün generates quantitative data on energy, temperature and microclimate balance as well as qualitative data on the perception of the building situation before and after greening interventions and on public awareness. New findings on the acceptance and well-being of employees and customers, on purchasing behavior and market-economic parameters will be available. GLASGrün is developing guidelines for constructive solutions, submission processes and care and maintenance management plans for the systems under consideration and for the vertical green standards tested, which are scalable and transferable and form an economic basis for future adaptations of further buildings as well as for their maintenance. A socio-ecological transformation faces the challenge of how integrated solutions can be developed in dialogue with the users and to what extent these produce the desired effects such as greenhouse gas reduction or better indoor climate. On the other hand, the best solutions in the technical sense can also fail due to social barriers: the acceptance of decision-makers, a lack of willingness to cooperate on the part of employees, or a loss of image in the neighborhood, to name just a few examples. Acceptance depends amongst other factors on both the concrete technical implementation and the process of introduction. Thus, acceptance is not a static variable, but is in a relationship with the technical solution options themselves. Public spaces are key to the discussion on sustainable urban development in their function against urban heat islands. Their diversity of uses and users allows for both a broad discussion and start of discourses and the testing of innovative sustainable measures, in this case greening of facades on buildings perceived in public space. In this paper we will present 2 case studies in Austria with the first results of interviews with employees and users of glass facade buildings and the users of public space.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: perception, vertical green, sustainable urban development, green infrastructure, urban public space
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GB Physical geography
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
Depositing User: The CORP Team
Date Deposited: 12 Nov 2022 17:07
Last Modified: 18 Dec 2022 14:01

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